Harvest Barn Farmshop

7th February 2020

Shailesh Vara MP recently met with Lynn and Stephen Briggs, owners of the Harvest Barn Farm Shop in Farcet, to discuss concerns that they and other local businesses have regarding the ongoing roadworks on the B1095 and the effect the works are having on their livelihoods.

Businesses located on the busy road have already experienced 8 road closures in the past 2 years and there will be a further 4-week closure in February. This is to allow the local highways authority to carry out exploratory work at the Horsey toll B1095/A605 junction.

Mr and Mrs Briggs opened the Harvest Barn Farm Shop and Café in 2018 and while they recognise the need for improvement works, the regular road closures are having a serious impact on their business and its viability is now being threatened.

Other nearby businesses are also feeling the negative impact of the ongoing works.

One possible compromise that Mr Vara discussed with Mr and Mrs Briggs was the highways authority considering to allow vehicular access during weekends when no work is carried out on the roads. This would be helpful as the weekend trade could help to offset some of the losses being incurred by the affected businesses.

Following the visit Mr Vara said:

“The Harvest Barn Farm Shop and other businesses along the B1095 rely on customers using cars along this busy road. Everyone recognises the need for the road works to be carried out but their continuing nature over such a long period of time is threatening the viability of the businesses as well as all the employment that the businesses provide.

“A lot of trade is carried out during weekends so it would be good if the highways authority could take measures to allow this to continue, just over the weekend when no road works are being done.

“I have taken this up with Mrs Gillian Beasley the Chief Executive of the Council, in the hope that a compromise can be reached for the Council to partially open the roads at times when no road works are being done.”

Mr Stephen Briggs, owner of the Harvest Barn Farm Shop added:

“After building the business from scratch, the repeated closures are having a devastating impact on business viability and it is jeopardizing 10 jobs with knock on impacts to suppliers.

“There is poor advance consultation regarding roadworks and little co-ordination between highways and utilities and no compensation for loss of income. We appreciate that the works have to be undertaken but there is little consideration given to the disruptive and economic impact on business.”

Photo: Lynn Briggs, Shailesh Vara MP and Stephen Briggs

Harvest Barn Farmshop: Lynn Briggs, Shailesh Vara MP and Stephen Briggs